Role of national parliaments in the protection and promotion of human rights | EUNewsletter

Role of national parliaments in the protection and promotion of human rights

6 May 2014

On 10 April an international seminar on the role of national parliaments in protection and promotion of human rights took place in the National Assembly. The main goal of the seminar was to convey a strong message to the members of the Armenian National Assembly that the protection of human rights is not an exclusive responsibility of the executive and the judiciary. The seminar was organised with the support of the EU Advisory Group (EUAG), which has made a significant contribution to sector strategies in human rights, migration and other fields.
The Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Traian Hristea, said: “It is fundamentally important that human rights, guaranteed by core international human rights treaties, are effectively protected and implemented domestically. National parliaments have a number of instruments to ensure this through the regular scrutiny of draft and existing legislation against international human rights standards, government oversight, and monitoring of the implementation of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and of the recommendations of international human rights treaty bodies”.
Elinar Vardanyan, the Chair of the National Assembly Committee on the Protection of Human Rights and Public Affairs, stated that all branches of state power were required to ensure the protection of human rights. The main objective of each branch is to determine the capacity and extent to which it could contribute to this mission. Among the crucial parliamentary human rights tools, the most important is engaging civil society in the law-making process. Vardanyan highlighted that, in recent years, civil society involvement in this process had grown. The organisation of parliamentary hearings which gather all stakeholders is an extremely important component, as these hearings provide the opportunity for all engaged parties to speak and be heard. Regular meetings with elected officials to consider appeals are another useful tool. This implies that politicians will have to change their style of communicating with the electorate: meetings with the people must become more regular, and politicians will have to start keeping their promises more effectively as they will be held increasingly accountable.
OHCHR Senior Human Rights Advisor for the South Caucasus, Vladimir Shkolnikov gave an overview of UN Human Rights mechanisms, including their evolution. “The idea of the UN Human Rights mechanisms is to give life to the conventions, treaties that are being signed within the framework of UN and to translate the universal human rights norms stating with Universal Declaration of Human Rights into practical measures and guidance” – he noted.
The seminar was attended by the staff of the Armenian National Assembly, representatives of state entities, NGOs, and international organisations. The EUAG was created in April 2009 in order to support the implementation of political and economic reforms initiated by the government of the Republic of Armenia. EUAG provides high-quality consultancy services concerning EU-Armenia Agreements on human rights, public administration and free trade.

Role of national parliaments in the protection and promotion of human rights

On 10 April an international seminar on the role of national parliaments in protection and promotion of human rights took place in the National Assembly. The main goal of the seminar was to convey a strong message to the members of the Armenian National Assembly that the protection of human rights is not an exclusive responsibility of the executive and the judiciary. The seminar was organised with the support of the EU Advisory Group (EUAG), which has made a significant contribution to sector strategies in human rights, migration and other fields. The Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Traian Hristea, said: “It is fundamentally important that human rights, guaranteed by core international human rights treaties, are effectively protected and implemented domestically. National parliaments have a number of instruments to ensure this through the regular scrutiny of draft and existing legislation against international human rights standards, government oversight, and monitoring of the implementation of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and of the recommendations of international human rights treaty bodies”. Elinar Vardanyan, the Chair of the National Assembly Committee on the Protection of Human Rights and Public Affairs, stated that all branches of state power were required to ensure the protection of human rights. The main objective of each branch is to determine the capacity and extent to which it could contribute to this mission. Among the crucial parliamentary human rights tools, the most important is engaging civil society in the law-making process. Vardanyan highlighted that, in recent years, civil society involvement in this process had grown. The organisation of parliamentary hearings which gather all stakeholders is an extremely important component, as these hearings provide the opportunity for all engaged parties to speak and be heard. Regular meetings with elected officials to consider appeals are another useful tool. This implies that politicians will have to change their style of communicating with the electorate: meetings with the people must become more regular, and politicians will have to start keeping their promises more effectively as they will be held increasingly accountable. OHCHR Senior Human Rights Advisor for the South Caucasus, Vladimir Shkolnikov gave an overview of UN Human Rights mechanisms, including their evolution. “The idea of the UN Human Rights mechanisms is to give life to the conventions, treaties that are being signed within the framework of UN and to translate the universal human rights norms stating with Universal Declaration of Human Rights into practical measures and guidance" - he noted. The seminar was attended by the staff of the Armenian National Assembly, representatives of state entities, NGOs, and international organisations. The EUAG was created in April 2009 in order to support the implementation of political and economic reforms initiated by the government of the Republic of Armenia. EUAG provides high-quality consultancy services concerning EU-Armenia Agreements on human rights, public administration and free trade.